“Eight Ways to Make 2020 Better”Jan 19, 2020
With the arrival of a new year, many are considering ways to make it the best year ever. A recent article in Newswise discussed some of the reasons put forth by faculty members of California State University. Many of these are based on common sense and observations accumulated over a lifetime and include the following: 1) Surround yourself with positive people. Nothing can pull you down faster than the constant complaining of negative people. That is a real “downer.” A positive mind-set is one of the most important features of a happy and productive life. 2) Consider your legacy. One so-called expert said, “There’s something called “gerotranscendence” theory, which is the view that as we get older, it’s less about us and more about altruism. A lot of older adults get to the point where they want to find the legacy they will leave to family and to the world. But you don’t need to be older to think about how you want to give back or to be remembered.” 3) Be kind to yourself. Psychologists say we have to learn to love ourselves, just as we learn to love others. Please see the article for the other five ways.
“Vitamin B-12 Deficiency and How to Recognize It”Jan 12, 2020
Vitamin B-12 deficiency can be sneaky and harmful. Spotting the signs of vitamin B-12 deficiency early on and getting the right treatment can improve a person’s outlook. In most cases, doctors can treat vitamin B-12 deficiency. Vitamin B-12 deficiency may lead to a reduction in healthy red blood cells (anemia). Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency include fatigue, low mood, and nerve problems. Vitamin B-12 deficiency may affect between 1.5 and 15.0 percent of people. The body needs vitamin B-12 for a range of bodily functions. Being deficient in vitamin B-12 causes physical and psychological symptoms, including nerve problems, fatigue, and difficulty thinking and people with long-term deficiency may have long-lasting effects, such as nerve damage. Most vitamin B-12 deficiency symptoms occur due to a lack of red blood cells, which means that the body does not get enough oxygen. The body’s oxygen supply is crucial for many aspects of health and insufficient oxygen here may lead to a person both feeling and being sick. The reduced amount of oxygen reaching the brain might be to blame for the thinking and reasoning problems, also called cognitive impairment. One study even linked low vitamin B-12 levels to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. The human body does not create vitamin B-12, so people must get this nutrient from their diet.
“Five Reasons You Always Feel Tired”Jan 05, 2020
Do you walk around feeling like a zombie? If so, this might be the reasons. 1) Poor sleep quality. We sleep for 1/3 of our lifetimes (about 24.9 years). Insomnia or sleep deprivation may be a risk factor for cancer, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, arthritis and cataracts. Insufficient sleep has been linked to a wide variety of health problems, including pain, heart disease and cancer. Insufficient sleep is also the primary reason for always feeling tired. According to a 2007 British study, people who do not get enough sleep are more than twice as likely to die of heart disease. Getting less than seven hours of sleep increases the risk of weight gain and less than six hours leads to unclear thinking. Hot and stuffy bedrooms are linked to poor sleep. Instead, a bedroom temperature of 65-70° F is recommended for best sleep. The brain remains active during sleep. Sleep is characterized by periods of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep activity, which includes eye movement, rapid firing of neurons, and loss of muscle tone. During sleep, neurotoxic waste is cleared from the brain, thus making sleep restorative. Seven to 8 hours of sleep are useless if those hours are of poor quality. This could be why you’re always tired. Maybe you have a partner who snores, or a pet who needs to be on top of you in order to feel secure in the night. Download the article for the other reasons.
“Egg and Cholesterol Studies Reconsidered”Dec 29, 2019
For decades we were admonished to avoid eating eggs because of their high cholesterol content. And dietary cholesterol has been considered a major player in the development of hardening of the arteries and arteriosclerotic heart disease. However, recent scientific studies have made us re-think these issues. On average, egg consumption makes up a quarter of the dietary cholesterol intake in the United States, with one large egg containing approximately 185 mg of cholesterol. Surprisingly, several studies in populations from the U.S., Sweden, Iran, and Finland did not find an association between egg intake and the risk of coronary heart disease. Another study even found that eating seven or more eggs per week was associated with a lower risk of stroke compared with eating less than one egg per week. For heart failure, however, a study in the U.S. and another one in Sweden found a 20–30% higher risk in those who ate more than one egg per day, but the results only applied to men. Overall, the researchers concluded, “For both dietary cholesterol and egg consumption, the published literature does not generally support statistically significant associations with CVD risk.” In China, egg consumption represents a healthful addition to the diet that is already rich in fiber, vegetables, and fruit.
“Five Interesting Topics On Aging”Dec 15, 2019
As many have said, “I knew I would get old, but I didn’t know it would happen so quickly.” There are many myths associated with old age and perhaps we can dispel some of the more common ones. 1) Sex. According to the American Psychological Association’s Office on Aging, “Although the frequency of sexual activity may decline in older adulthood, many older adults continue to enjoy a physically and emotionally fulfilling sex life.” We prefer to think that Grandma and Grandpa are not getting busy in their old age but the “facts of life” are a fact of life, even in the golden years. Sexual activity offers physical, mental and emotional benefits that are helpful to seniors, too, such as better sleep, less stress, a more positive mood, and improved marital satisfaction. Download the article to see the rest !
“Nutrition is a World of Conflicted Studies”Dec 08, 2019
Nothing is more confusing to people than to read the conflicted studies concerning nutrition and diet. It appears that the conclusion of these conflicted studies changes with the direction of the wind. Sadly, people live their lives based on these non-proven studies. Take, for instance, the changing notions involving studies on eating eggs, drinking whole milk, eating fats, eating fried foods, eating red meat, or consuming energy drinks. All of the confusion leads people to doubt the so-called scientific nutrition studies coming out on a daily basis and grabbing alarming headlines. So, what can we do? Many authors recommend that nutrition education be made compulsory for all medical students. Nutritional education for medical students must be improved and made a compulsory and meaningful part of the curriculum. Worldwide, 11 million deaths annually are attributable to poor diet, making it the leading risk factor for death across the world. Accordingly, many countries recommend that doctors apply nutrition knowledge in practice to support patients to manage lifestyle-related chronic disease and other diet-related conditions. However, these findings suggest that nutrition in medical education is lacking in all countries studied. Worldwide, nutrition is insufficiently incorporated into medical education, meaning that medical students lack the confidence, skills and knowledge to provide nutritional care to patients, according to a systematic review of 24 studies published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal.
“Nine Strange Medical Facts”Dec 01, 2019
Medical facts can be stranger than fiction, as evidenced by the following examples. The human body has incredible regenerative powers. Reportedly, your entire brain replaces itself every 2 months; your liver, every 6 weeks; and your epidermis, every 35 days. Even your stomach lining replaces itself every 3 to 4 days. If your body didn’t do this, the strong acids used by your stomach to digest food would also digest your stomach! Your stomach acids are so strong that they can dissolve razor blades. Babies are born with about 300 bones, but by the time they reach adulthood, these bones will have fused together to form 206 bones. Babies are born with more cartilage than bone. The children of identical twins are genetically siblings rather than cousins? This is because they share 25% of their DNA. Full siblings share 50% of their DNA, half-siblings share 25%, and cousins share 12.5%. Thus, they are the genetic equivalent of half-siblings. Having a good cry really is good for you. The tears you shed when you cry contain stress hormones and crying itself may actually stimulate the production of endorphins—the body’s natural painkiller—as well as feel-good hormones such as oxytocin. The human nose can remember 50,000 different scents, and experts say that the memories evoked by our sense of smell are some of the oldest and most potent we have.
“Are ‘Magic Health Numbers’ Accurate ?”Nov 24, 2019
Many authors quote “magic health numbers” as being highly recommended and your goal for good overall health. Numbers like “10,000 steps per day,” “eight glasses of water a day,” and “three cups of coffee a day,” are examples we hear all the time. But, are they really accurate or meaningful numbers? Let’s start with “10,000 steps per day,” which is almost five miles. For many years, walking 10,000 steps per day has been considered the “magic” number for optimal health. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine recently published results from an observational Women’s Health Study focused on whether increased steps per day are associated with lower mortality rates among older women. The study found that participants who walked as few as 4,400 steps per day experienced lower mortality rates when compared to participants who walked 2,700 steps per day. And, the more steps participants took per day, the more their mortality rates dropped. However, the study showed that mortality rates leveled off at 7,500 steps, meaning that study participants who walked more did not have significantly lower mortality rates.
“How To Possibly Reduce Hangover Symptoms”Nov 17, 2019
Alcohol consumption will increase with the upcoming holiday season. But, no one should be pushing and condoning the consumption of alcohol. Any reduction in alcohol consumption will lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Still, the alcohol industry is a commanding lobbying and marketing powerhouse. However, study after study is pointing to alcohol as being a cause of a variety of cancers and the debunking of its reported heart and cardiovascular benefits. Men should drink no more than women and remember that any amount of alcohol increases the risk of developing a range of cancers. Epidemiologic evidence supports a causal association of alcohol consumption and cancers of the oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum, and female breast. Also, there is “accumulating research” supporting a causal contribution of alcohol to other cancers, such as cancer of the pancreas, prostate, and skin (melanoma). But by far, the most common effect of alcohol consumption is the “hangover.” No two hangovers are alike, which helps explain why finding a cure for a hangover is so difficult. Hangover symptoms include symptoms of fatigue, thirst, drowsiness, headache, dry mouth, nausea, apathy, reduced alertness, sensitivity to noise and light, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Here are a few potential hangover remedies that have at least some scientific research to back them up.
“Pets Can Keep You Healthy”Oct 20, 2019
Overall, we Americans love our pets. Four million own dogs. Seven million own cats. Five million own freshwater fish. Seven million own birds. Four million own small animals. Five million own reptiles. Six million each own horses or saltwater fish. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), most US households (67%) own a pet. But most people do not realize that your doggy, or your lazy cat, or your fish are good for your health. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is furry, feathered or scaly, they all seem to be good for you. Pets enrich our lives and improve our health in ways that we probably haven’t ever considered. Here are just some of the health benefits you could reap from pet ownership. Reduced cardiovascular risks. In May 2013, the American Heart Association (AHA) released a scientific statement declaring an association between pet ownership and lower risk factors for heart disease as well as longer life. Results from three AHA studies validate this association and dog ownership was associated with an increased likelihood of longer life, particularly among people who experienced a previous myocardial infarction or stroke. Two of these studies provided good, quality data indicating dog ownership is associated with reduced cardiac and all-cause mortality. Increased longevity. In the second of the more recent AHA studies, researchers analyzed data from over 3.8 million participants, and found that dog owners had a 24% reduced risk of all-cause early mortality, a 65% reduced risk of death after myocardial infarction, and a 31% reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality in general. Better blood pressure control.